RME Fireface UFX+ or UAD Apollo x8 or?

Hi,

I’m making an upgrade from a Babyface Pro to a bigger interface and I think I narrowed down the list to these two: RME Fireface UFX+ and UAD Apollo x8

From personal experience, I know how it feels like to have a RME interface.

My question is: at the end, is the difference just the UAD plugins?

Or should I consider something different, like Antelope?

Cheers!

I’ve got the same problem right now! One thing for sure: don’t get Antelope. I’ve tested Zen Tour for nearly a month. It sounded great, but the software and drivers were a NIGHTMARE. I’m on FB group for Antelope users and I can see all kind of complaints. Don’t event think about getting it :slight_smile:

1 Like

I can confirm the Antelope (32+ gen3) issues, struggled for 3 months and decided to return it after several helpdesk calls without a solution.

Currently have a Apollo X8 and never had any issues…

1 Like

If you’re looking for rock solid, RME all day every day.

4 Likes

Besides the rock solid drivers from RME it is also nice that you can record your hardware jams onto ssd or hdd even if your computer is shut down (durec function). And it is very nice to control totalmix via ARC USB (don’t know if UAD has something like this).
So I don’t know the UAD interface but I love my UFX+ and only can highly recommend it. And I can’t imagine that the UAD plugins are such important in a world where you can buy tons of high quality plugins from Softube, Acustic Audio, Waves, and so on… but this might be a seperate topic :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

1 Like

Been doing similar research. I’m leaning towards RME because TotalMix FX can be remotely controlled with MIDI, and Apollo Control cannot unless you also want to buy a Softube Console.

Right now you get a free satellite if you buy an Apollo. It’s tempting but you’re buying into their ecosystem. RME seems more open ended

1 Like

Well, I was decided to get UFX+. Then I decided I could add the Adi Pro FS converter to be my converter.

My doubt is: wouldn’t it be “better” to choose an interface with better converters, like Lynx Aurora (n), instead of picking the RME combo?

Cheers!

I know I’m posting a year later but others may find this post and wonder the same thing. I currently have both so am in a good position to answer this.

I have an RME Fireface UFX and Octamic XTC and I also have an Apollo X8P with Twin X Duo.

Why do I have both? Well, I had the RME first and it is ROCK SOLID with great drivers and great sound and great mixer BUT I really wanted the unison plugin feature of UA and on paper, the AD/DA conversion is much better than the RME.

Reality? Thunderbolt on PC is a dog’s ass hole. I don’t trust that my Apollo will even work one day to the next. Thunderbolt cannot change the sample rate of windows so you have to manually go into windows settings if you want to hear YouTube play normally after opening a 48k session in Cubase. I HAD to keep the RME just in case it wasn’t going to play ball one day and I had clients in.

But also, even though on paper the conversion is better, I actually much prefer the sound of the RME. It feels so much fuller and less clinical. Don’t get me wrong I’m a BIG fan of UA plugins - I have almost the full suite and use them on ALL Mixes and I do use the unison feature and my clients love it, but honestly if it didn’t need UA gear to have that feature I’d be RME all the way.

3 Likes

For me a big plus is the RME Digicheck real time analyser. You get the sample accurate display of you levels and frequency spectrum. As I´m also UAD satelite user and eying on the Apollos, UAD doesn´t have an RTA and this is one of the most requested feauteres I guess.

As we are going into 2nd lockdown, I want to build a little setup up for home use when I can´t go to the studio. So instead of an RME Babyface Pro FS I went with the Apollo Solo Thunderbold (also to have 1 dsp more to my Satelites). It´s cheaper than the Babyface … well untill I realised that USB-C cable that I bought is not a Thunderbold cable. I think that´s such a shame UAD doesn´t include it in there high end price range audio interfaces.

So what I did in my studio, I upgraded my Fireface 802 with an Ferrofish Pulse 16 via ADAT. And that sounds definilty not the same, a little better and more cleaner in the top end … my Adam A7x monitor speaker told me.

Great thing on the RME is also, you have 12 ins instead of 6 or 8 on the Apollos. The RME UFX+ has 2 Adat ins / outs AND Madi, you even can add a Pulse 16 with MADI for just 1000 EUR. I think this is more future prooved, if you have a plan for expanding your studio later.

The Apollos are well made, sound phenomenal and the UAD plugins ARE excellent and quality wise in many ways above all but the best of native plugins.

That said, RME gives the best driver support out there, their hardware is rock solid, and their stuff is feature rich.

UAD doesn’t allow for midi control of their Console app (except with the Softube Console 1), no direct-to-disk recording without a PC attached (big feature on the UFX), MADI is available only on the Apollo 16/x16 and due to the thunderbolt protocol, it isn’t compatible with AMD Ryzen processors. RME does all of those things better.

UAD interfaces have the mentioned Unison feature which is cool, and a neat thing is that you can “preload” plugins into all your channels in Console, then unplug the interface and use it as an FX box in live performances (plugins remain active even after removing the computer).

I own an Apollo 8 and it is no doubt a premium interface. I originally wanted the RME UFX, got scammed trying to buy it online, finally decided to go to a music store and buy it there where the sales person(!) swayed me over to a UAD Apollo last minute. I love my interface for its quality sound and quality make but I am annoyed with UAD with what to me seem to be arbitrary & poorly explained limitations (eg no standard midi control of Console) and a customer service / after-sales service that is smug at best (just check their forum and have a look at the way the “community” and their staff handle criticisms or feature discussions).

Also, UAD’s pricing policy with their plugins is sort of designed to make you addicted to buying their stuff - not even kidding.

When I first got the interface, I bought one or two Unison plugins that I really wanted - the first few, time-limited coupons started coming in from UAD. My first coupons coincided with one of their yearly sales, so I used them to buy a few more plugins. With each purchase I received one or two(!) more coupons, so I ended up buying quite a few things for what seemed like great deals.

Of course paying 149€ for a plugin is going to seem like a great deal when it’s standard pricing is set to 399€…But who buys UAD plugins at full price?! Those prices merely serve the purpose of normalising spending on their plugins.

Eventually as I spent more, I received less coupons but my tolerance for spending on their plugins had by now gone up. It took a phase of extended traveling (without my equipment) to veer me off their marketing traps again. I’m convinced that UAD plays it exactly like that (it’s their strategy), and to me that is quite a turnoff.

I’m also mildly bothered that UAD doesn’t give the option for commercial clients to recover VAT on plugin purchases.

Now, this is not meant to be a rant against UAD and I’ll say explicitly that I am happy with my Apollo - everything it does it does extremely well. These are just some of the things I wish I knew before I bought into their ecosystem (probably still would have gone for it, only would it have saved me some of the disappointed expectations down the line).

If I’d have to make a choice today again, I’d probably go with a UFX+ as my hardware collection has grown since & I work and create more OTB today than I did back then. The UFX+ has a few features (midi control, disk recording, better routing) that are more suitable for that use case scenario.

But who knows, maybe then I’d miss the sound and the plugins of the Apollo? :slight_smile: lol

5 Likes

edit - just posted it in “UAD Apollo gear use”

Curious to hear thoughts on grabbing an RME UFX+ at this time (April 2021)

There’s apart of me that’s wary of the likelihood that we’ll be seeing a USB-C/ Thunderbolt 3 interface from RME sometime soon, but then again, that’s been my concern for about 18 months (I’ve been rocking an Mbox 3 pro since 2012, and it isn’t supported by my latest computer which shipped with Catalina).

1 Like

What was your problem with Antelope? I just upgraded from Zen Studio to Orion 32+ and Im pretty happy.

Re: UFX+ — So I went ahead and grabbed a demo unit from SW and will have 30 days to assess whether or not it’ll work for me.

I’m curious to know if any owners have insights or concerns to share on things to keep an eye on when evaluating a used unit, etc.

People usually complains it sounds cold, excessively focused on highs.

EDIT:

to keep an eye on when evaluating a used unit, etc.

I’m sorry, I haven’t paid enough attention to this part of your comment.

1 Like

Ah ok, I see — Well, my interest is more-so with the feature set. Not that sound isn’t a factor. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the sound and know several artists (that I happen to look up to) that use RME, etc.

I’m mostly just trying to anticipate any issues that a previous user (however brief) could’ve brought about.

I have been considering finally moving away from using Overbridge due to latency decoupling me from live performance. I would be upgrading from Babyface Pro to Fireface UFX+ and adding an Expert Sleepers ES-9 to my Eurorack setup eventually as well.

Is there anyone here using an RME interface along with the ES-9 via ADAT? Would that be somehow limiting the ES-9 functionality?

Any specific thoughts/recommendations for such a setup? Potential pitfalls? Benefits? Clocking recommendations?

Additionally, would I be playing with fire regarding other potential latency issues pairing those interfaces via ADAT? Hmmm… :pray:

Which artists?

Floating Points and Rival Consoles are the two that come to mind first.


To reiterate my question — though maybe it would be best to be best to create a new thread. :thinking:

1 Like

RME! Professional sound that aligns with the most stable drivers and most longtime support for their products. Made in Germany as its best.

3 Likes